Connections & Sprightly Mobile Apps

UX Researcher

July 2015 - August 2016

One year

Design brief

Straight after college, I worked at Microsoft as a UX Researcher in the Mobile Only team aimed at designing for the next billion users. This started as a Microsoft Garage initiative, which has now grown into a large mobile products team at Microsoft, India. 

I worked on two mobile applications namely - Connections and Sprightly. "Connections" is a light-weight customer and order management and "Sprightly"enables creating quick-and-easy marketing collaterals for small businesses in India.

User Persona

 

Tara runs a bakery from home, she has a team of four, three helpers in the kitchen and one errand boy who helps in making purchases from the market and also delivers parcels at home for clients. She always carries uses her phone and uses it to manage her business and her team. She wants simple, lightweight solutions on her phone which do not hog her cellphone battery.

 

Connections

 

Connections is a light Customer Management application for small businesses in India. 

 

India has a large number of unorganized small businesses. The owners of these businesses use mobile phones to increase their productivity every day in their personal and professional life. 

 

One of the primary needs that we identified was capturing information they wanted on specific contacts – be it friends, family, customers, vendors or suppliers. They still did not fully transition from physical diaries or notebooks to smartphones for the lack of a right solution.

 

The app was designed to be simple to use as it was targetted towards new smartphone users. It provides information in context and reduces the workflow of opening the app everytime the user wants to make new data entry. Some of the user expectations that were being met by this app included categorization of contacts, sharing notes and setting reminders.

 

Connections is no longer available on the app store. You can read more about it on Microsoft Garage, PocketMeta, Android Community, and Best Apps Guru.

 

 

User Scenario:

  1. Tara's customer, Jayant Karnik had placed an order for a 5kg chocolate cake for his anniversary. He calls up Tara to confirm the time of pickup. Before Tara takes the call, Connections reminders her of the previous conversation with Jayant for the order, it also tells her she has promised him a special discount.

  2. Tara adds a reminder to call her material supplier, Chaddha Bhai to update her inventory for next week due to a bulk order.

'Connections' helps her maintain customer relationships and ensures she never misses an order.

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Connenctions allows the user to add new contacts with noted and tags. It allows the user to view contacts based on user-defined tags. It shows in context notes before a call and allows the user to add notes when they complete a call.

Sprightly

 

Sprightly is a content creation app for business and personal needs. The user can create price lists, catalogs and much more – all with a few clicks on your phone. 

 

Businesses can also create ecards for those special occasions to maintain customer relations and increase sales.

 

The users can share their content on the platforms where their largest customer base is- Whatsapp and Facebook.

 

Users can also reuse their creations by saving them as 'Collections'.

 

Sprightly no longer available on app store. However, you can learn more about Sprightly on Microsoft Garage, ZDNetTechcrunch, and Silicon Angle.

 

User Scenario: Tara has freshly baked a new batch of chocolate cupcakes she quickly takes pictures of the cupcakes from her phone. She then uploads them on Sprightly and creates a product price list. She then shares it with all the clients on her whatsapp group. 

 

 

Sprightly lets the users select a type of template, add images and text to it and share it on popular social platforms like Whatsapp and Facebook. It also allows user to send actionable content like web links and phone numbers along with the 'sprite'.

Takeaways

I was the only Researcher in the team and I worked closely with the Program Managers and Designers to make sure we were solving the right problems for the users. This role also required me to share user insights with the leadership team to help in building the product strategy.

 

The small and independent team gave me the exposure of working in an agile workspace with quick turnaround time. We would churn out products and conduct quick gorilla tests in the field to validate our hypothesis. 

 

 

Design responsibilities:

User research, Mobile interaction design

Tools/methods used:

In person Interviews, Group Discussions, Guerrilla Research, Usability Testing, User Persona, Scenarios, User Insights, Design directions, Product features, Screenplay for concept videos

This is only a high-level overview. Specific details cannot be shared due to NDA. 

 

singh.aru@husky.neu.edu​ | arushisingh5545@gmail.com

© 2020 Arushi Singh